21Serve God with a sincere heart. God is coming to judge his people. He condemns those who replace the obedience of the heart with offerings and material sacrifices, and those who recite the commandments instead of practicing them.
1 The God of gods, the Lord has spoken,
1 he summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2 God has shone from Zion, perfect in beauty.
3 God is no longer silent, he comes
3 before him is a devouring fire,
3 around him a raging storm.
4 He calls to the heavens above,
4 and to the earth below,
4 that he may judge his people:
5 Gather before me my faithful ones,
5 who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
6 The heavens will proclaim his sentence,
6 for God himself is the judge.
7 Hear, O my people, for I am speaking.
7 I will accuse you, O Israel,
7 I am God, your God!
8 Not for your sacrifices do I reprove you,
8 for your burnt offerings are ever before me.
9 I need no bull from your stalls,
9 nor he-goat from your pens.
10 For I own all the beasts of the forest
10 and the animals of my thousand hills.
11 All the birds of the air I know
11 all that move in the fields are mine.
12 I need not tell you if I were hungry,
12 for mine is the world and all that it contains.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
13 or drink the blood of goats?
14 Yet offer to God a sacrifice of thanks,
14 and fulfill your vows to the Most High.
15 Call on me in time of calamity
15 I will deliver you, and you will glorify me.
16 But God says this to the wicked:
16 What right have you to mouth my laws,
16 or to talk about my covenant?
17 You hate my commands
17 and cast my words behind you.
18 You join a thief when you meet one
18 you keep company with adulterers.
19 You have a mouth of evil
19 and a deceitful tongue.
20 You speak ill of your brother,
20 and slander your own mothers son.
21 Because I was silent while you did these things,
21 you thought I was like you.
21 But now I rebuke you
21 and make this charge against you.
22 Give this a thought, you who forget God,
22 lest I tear you to pieces with no one to help you.